EU Mulls Ban on Advertising Stereotypes

08 September 2008

BRUSSELS: The European Parliament is planning to ban  advertisements on TV, print, video games and other media which it deems to be promoting sexist stereotypes.

Parliamentary representatives propose the establishment of media watchdogs in each member-nation, mandated to clamp down on stereotypical images such as women cleaning the kitchen and men cleaning their cars.

The ban would, for example, extend to the use of images such supermodel Eva Herzigova in her Wonderbra or Diet Coke's shirtless builder.

Declares Swedish MEP Eva-Britt Svensson, a member of the EU's women's rights committee: "Gender stereotyping in advertising straitjackets women, men, girls and boys by restricting individuals to predetermined and artificial roles that are often degrading, humiliating and dumbed down for both sexes."

The UK Advertising Standards Authority said it "supports the overall objectives of the report" but insists there are already rules in place to prevent "discriminatory or harmful" material.

This new approach, it argues, would be "inflexible and impractical".

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff